Sharing from the WORD
And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals. And they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them. And they provoked the Lord to anger. They abandoned the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth.
When I read about Israel's sin, I was struck by what it was that was "evil in the sight of the Lord." Growing up, my definition of sin was "bad things that you shouldn't do, because they're wrong and God said so." Thus, my view of God was that He was restrictive, punishing those who did what He didn't like and blessing those who did what He liked, simply based on God's preferences. However, this passage from the book of Judges invalidates this definition of sin.
Here what is highlighted when God talks about Israel's sin is how the Israelites "abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt." Twice it says, "they abandoned the Lord and served the Baals." What God cared about was having a personal, loving relationship with His people, Israel. What God has always cared about was having a personal, loving relationship with humankind, with us. Sin has always been a relational rejection of God. And it is not outward, empty sacrifices that God desires, but an inner relationship with Him, that we desire to be with Him, to love Him, and to please Him with our whole lives.
So I want to ask you -- what is your definition of sin? How does your definition affect the way you've been viewing God?
And if it doesn't match what God says in the Bible, then I encourage you to repent of any unbiblical views of sin and God, and come to see God loves you, first and foremost, and wants to have a personal and loving relationship with you. And as we can see in the rest of Judges, when Israel turns back to God and repents, God continuously shows grace and saves them from destruction. This is the God of the Bible, and the God that I have placed my faith in.
Praying you can know this God of grace,